Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed Erling Haaland's release clause prevented him from completing a move to Manchester United.
Haaland, 21, is one of football's hottest young talents after bursting onto the scene with Red Bull Salzburg and then the Bundesliga side.
As well as Man Utd, the Norwegian has attracted strong interest from rivals Man City who are believed to be in pole position to sign him this summer.
What did Watzke say about Man Utd's Haaland interest?
“First of all, we have to know that we need a new Erling Haaland," Watzke explained to Ruhr Nachtrichten.
"At the end of the day, the truth is we gave him a release clause - otherwise he would have gone to Manchester United.
"He has to make a decision, it will come eventually. The important thing is: it will continue. If Borussia Dortmund can do one thing, it's finding the next one. A team always makes more than a player.”
Will Adeyemi be Dortmund's 'New Haaland'?
Haaland showed how important he is to Dortmund's cause with a hat-trick on Saturday, but it was not enough to avoid a disappointing 4-3 defeat at home to Bochum.
Should he leave, Dortmund may look to repeat their transfer coup by returning to Salzburg for Karim Adeyemi.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a spectacular season in Austria and Watzke believes he would be open to a move.
“If he does come, we would try to do it without a release clause - but I will not give a full report," he added.
"We're not under any pressure. I think the player has more or less conveyed the feeling that he wants to join Dortmund. We have to manage that somehow.”